Grateful Dead Live at Marin County Veterans Auditorium on 1984-04-01
-- Thanks to Paul Scotton and Joani Walker for the Cassettes.
-- Seamless transition between discs 2 and 3.
April 1, 2009
Amazing show. No Foolin'!
A must, I was at this show, 8th(?) row Dead center! Fabulous acoustics. The only building I've ever been in designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Yes I confess, there was mescaline involved, but I've had a tape of this for a long time and it lives up to my memory. Especially, the second set! The day before was good also.
November 6, 2008
Top Ten for 1984
Spring of 1983 tour has long been considered a strong run for the band, and a year later, they continue the tradition with a solid run of shows in Mar/Apr 1984 that served as a sort of "warm up" tour before heading to the East coast in mid-April.
Well, no one can deny that by tonight, they are most definitely warmed up!! Look at the list for Set One - except for Esau, this could be a show from 1976 or 77!! And - no bad Brent songs like Tons of Steel to endure.
Jack Straw kicks it off with confidence, then a FOTD that sounds more like 1972, just guitars and vocals mostly, no strange midi intrusions. Uncle/Mexicali pick up the tempo and set the stage for the first real treat of the Set -
Big RxR Blues which, after being retired at Winterland 10/19/74, really came back with a vengeance by 1983 and 84. Jerry knows this one backwards and forwards, and delivers some scorching leads over Brent's shake and quake organ chords. Cassidy is always a welcome addition in Set One, with some nice interplay between Brent's keys and Jerry jamming in the modal scale matrix. Tenn Jed features a hearty and spot on vocal from Jerry. The tempo is lazy and Garcia sounds like he's having fun on the solos. Esau might be the weak link the chain here, but even this tune is played well with no major snafus - as is the whole set. Okay, your body is finding the groove, and you've got a smile on your face - what more could you want from Set One ??
There are certain periods in the band's history where certain songs seem to reach a peak of expression for the band. For 1984, I would certainly include Help>Slipknot, Terrapin, Wharf Rat, China>Rider and Morning Dew on that list, and you'll notice that many of my top ten picks will have some of those songs in the setlist.
Mind you, I'm not saying the versions from 1984 are THE best overall, but that they stand out for that year strongly as compared to say, The Other One which in 1984 was usually sorta lame.
The tempo for Help is peppy and the boys hit almost every note perfectly. Then Garcia doesn't waste any time leaping off into some fuzzed out jamming in Slipknot. If you like the jazzy Dark Stars of 1973 then you'll love this Slip cause dare I say it's right up there in 1973 territory.
After that 5 minute cosmic offramp, the Dead drop smoothly into the Franklin's groove and immediately bring a smile. They playing here is tight and in the pocket and gives you the feeling of cruising down the highway at 70 with the wind in your face. Samson, while not a favorite, certainly doesn't drop the ball and keep the energy high leading to - a Terrapin that from the first notes transports you from mere rock and roll into the magical and mystical enchanted forest that is known as Set Two Proper. Dig the reverb on the vocals. Spooky, almost too much but just right. A solid version that gets you there. Space is warpy and bendy with some distorted leads from Jerry like a ghost in the background. This morphs into an achingly beautiful solo by Jerry that soars to the highest Buddha realm and throws down lotus petals to prepare us for the incredible Morning Dew that follows. 12 minutes long and it's Olympian in its depth of feeling and passionate playing. The peak of the show for me. If you're not melted into a pile on the floor by the end of this one, check your pulse. Once again, Brent demonstrates why this song was made to include a Hammond B-3.
I Need a Miracle? I need a breather !! One of the shortest on record at 3 minutes. Jerry is in a hurry to get to Goin Down the Road, and he really sets it on fire. The rest of the show is just as energetic and sends you out the door upbeat and grinning from ear to ear.
In an era (pre-coma) when lackluster low-energy playing was all too frequent, this show shines like a diamond. The former Serafin SBD was good, but of course the new Miller RM is even better. One to collect and crank up. A perfect example of the best the Dead could be during this period.
Dr. Flashback :-)